|Posted: May 13, 2006, 10:33 pm - IP Logged|
A couple of generations ago gas stations, truck stops and rural eateries frequently had the moral equivalent of scratchers stashed behind the counter somewhere. They called them punch cards. A place might cost a dime or quarter, and a person might win a buck, a double-sawbuck.
A cadre of guys went around the country selling them to the gas station owners, storekeepers, hash-slingers, who'd make a profit, as would whomever the drummers were (route guys, sort of) who sold them.
I don't know when they vanished. My impression was they were honest and straightforward, generally. That one of the squares had a double-sawbuck in it, etc. But everyone made money on them except the person who paid a pittance to punch a square, and an awfully lot of people paid for those squares with the change they had coming back.
I'd guess there was probably a Rocco somewhere behind it all, but I never heard of anyone getting prosecuted for punch cards.
However, nowadays it might get a businessman 2-10 in the big house for doing it. In those days the competition might break the legs of the route man, but they weren't the same folks who own all the prisons.
Absorb the good, ignore the bad, weigh the ugly.
It's about number behavior.
Egos don't count.
Dedicated to the memory of Big Loooser